TOWN OF PITTSFORD ANNUAL MEETING MINUTES
February 29, 2016 – Lothrop School Gymnasium
Select Board Members Present: Also Present:
Thomas “Hank” Pelkey, Chairman John Haverstock, Town Manager
W. Joseph Gagnon, Vice Chairman Helen McKinlay, Town Clerk
Thomas Hooker Elizabeth Willis, Asst. Town Clerk
Jane Cornell Kelly Giard, Recording Secretary
David Trombley Approximately 111 guests
Moderator Jim Carvey called the meeting to order at 7:48 PM.
Moderator Carvey read the Warning, as published on Page 3 of the Town Report.
Town Manager John Haverstock read the Town Report Dedication, which was dedicated to the members of the Fire Department (picture on the front cover with students from the Lothrop School in appreciation of their quick work to save the school during a fire in the boiler room); Rick Conway and Sam Markowski for their many years of dedicated service to the Zoning Board of Adjustment; and Thomas “Hank” Pelkey for his many years of service to the town in various capacities, including Chair of the Select Board and the Library.
Moderator Carvey read the following warning:
The legal voters of the Town of Pittsford are hereby warned to meet at the Lothrop School Gymnasium in the Town of Pittsford, on Monday, February 29, 2016 at 6:30 pm to transact the following business not involving voting by Australian ballot:
Article 1. Moderator Harvey read the following article: “To hear the reports of the Town Officers and take appropriate action thereon”.
Select Board Chairman Pelkey explained the General Fund budget and expressed thanks to Town Manager John Haverstock, Linda Drummond and Department Heads for their work on maintaining the budgets and the budgets were reviewed.
Chairman Pelkey explained that the Fiscal Year 2015 showed lower revenues by $11,000 and higher expenses by $27,500 showing a General Fund deficit of $38,511. The budgets purposely expended $75,000 in the Highway Department to bring the expenses in line with the recommended funds carry-over. Some highlights that were noted included: an increase in the Town Manager salary of $23,000 and car allowance; $17,000 for the resurfacing of the basketball and tennis courts; overtime in the Police Department; a 1 time transfer of $35,000 from the Water and Sewer budget for fire hydrants. Chairman Pelkey explained that these allocations were from the General Fund to bring the contingency to 7.5% and next year the contingency fund will be back to the recommended 10%.
Chairman Pelkey explained that the Fiscal Year 2016 budget is $30,000 lower than the previous year. Chairman Pelkey explained that some of the reasons were an increase in the amount of income to be raised by taxes; $4,200 increase in election expenses; decrease in health care expenses; decrease in Police Department wages (this is due to the completion of the COPS grant and is now a warned item as to whether to continue with the position); and decrease in the hydrant support to the Water Fund; an increase in the Recreation Area fees; and an increase in the tax and penalty interest income.
Chairman Pelkey explained that currently, the Police Department provides 100 hours per week and in the event that the $37,000 item does not pass, there would only be coverage of 50 hours per week in the budget.
Ernie Clerihew inquired the comparison of the number of officers to other towns of the same size. Town Manager Haverstock explained that Pittsford currently has 1 full-time officer and 6 part-time officers and research showed that Pittsford compared to other towns equally.
Article 2. Moderator Carvey read the following article: To see if the voters of the Town of Pittsford will appropriate the sum of $1,346,165.00 (One Million, Three Hundred Forty-Six Thousand, One Hundred Sixty-Five and no/100ths Dollars) to defray the General Expenses of the Town for the 2016- 2017 fiscal year, of which the sum of $1,049,620.00 (One Million, Forty-Nine Thousand, Six Hundred Twenty and no/100ths Dollars) is to be raised by property taxes?”
Motion by Denise Mahoney and seconded by Sue Markowski to approve the article as presented. Motion passed unanimously.
Article 3. Moderator Carvey read the following article: “To see if the voters of the Town of Pittsford will appropriate the sum of $1,000,640.00 (One Million, Six Hundred Forty and no/100ths Dollars) to defray the Highway Expenses of the Town for the 2016 – 2017 fiscal year, of which the sum of $861,550.00 (Eight Hundred Sixty-One Thousand, Five Hundred Fifty and no/100ths Dollars) is to be raised by property taxes.”
Selectman Joe Gagnon reported on the Highway Department activities.
The Highway Department was responsible for the daily maintenance of the town roads and were able to undertake some additional projects over the past year, which included: work and paving on the Oxbow Road; paving on the West Creek Road, Terounzo Road, and Pine Woods Road; some reconstructive work on the West Creek Road (which was funded using State Grant Funds), and other various projects as they came about.
The Equipment Replacement Fund began the year with $274,000 and is now at $200,000 following purchases.
The Select Board has lowered the surplus funds that were in the Highway Fund as recommended by the auditors.
Projects for the upcoming fiscal year include: installation of box culverts on Fire Hill and the East Pittsford Road (which grant funding has been received); paving of 1.5 miles of Corn Hill Road; and paving of Fire Hill Road from Whipple Hollow Road to the railroad crossing.
The Highway Department experienced a good winter with lower overtime and material used.
In 1999, there was a bond vote to do paving, this bond will mature in 3 years, thus allowing $100,000 available to support more paving projects. The Select Board is recommending that bonds or appropriations be sought for paving projects.
The Arch Street sidewalk project is out to bid and Grant Funding has been received for this project. The bids are expected to be received and reviewed so construction can occur this construction season.
Donna Greeno stated that the sidewalks are dark following the installation of the LED lights. Town Manager Haverstock stated that he will communicate this concern to Green Mountain Power to see if the light can be centered more to the sidewalk.
Bonnie Stewart inquired about the sidewalks and curbs on Route 7 through the village. Chairman Pelkey stated that this concern will be reviewed, however, any project work would be the sole responsibility of the town due to the impending Route 7 upgrade.
Chuck Charbonneau inquired if the Highway Department is ready to bill the school for winter maintenance due to the passing of Act 46 as other contractors bill other schools. Chairman Pelkey will address this concern.
Bud Provin inquired the “Labor – Vacation and Services” line item in the Highway Budget being budgeted at $21,000 and expensing $31,627. Town Manager Haverstock reported that this was a movement of funds to reflect actual expenses.
Moderator Carvey re-read the article. Motion by Clarence Greeno and seconded by Wayne Rowe to approve the article as presented. Motion passed unanimously.
Article 4. Moderator Carvey read the following article: “To see if the voters of the Town of Pittsford will appropriate the sum of $20,000 (Twenty Thousand and no/100ths Dollars) to defray the Village District’s Expenses for the 2016 – 2017 fiscal year, of which the sum of $20,000 (Twenty Thousand and no/100ths Dollars) is to be raised by property taxes payable by Village property owners?”
Motion by Donna Greeno and seconded by Mike Warfle to approve.
Donna Greeno questioned why the Village property owners pay the “tab” because the village services are available to all. Peter Cady explained that the village and the town used to be separate and a vote by both the town and village resulted in the town residents did not want the costs as the village district residents benefitted.
Bonnie Stewart stated that the sidewalks in the village are a problem and that snowplowing and streetlights are the only expenses. Chairman Pelkey welcomed residents to petition the Select Board and have this issue included on next years’ ballot.
Gordon DeLong recommended expanding the borders of the village.
Bonnie Bourne explained that the village roads (Route 7) are not maintained by the town. Town Manager Haverstock explained that Green Mountain Power retrofitted the LED lighting leaving a fund balance of $11,000 – $12,000.
Article 4 passed.
Article 5. Moderator Carvey read the following article: To see if the voters will authorize collection of taxes on real and personal property by its Treasurer in three equal installments, due on or before August 9, September 9, and November 9, 2016.”
Motion by Wayne Rowe and seconded by Denise Mahoney. Motion passed unanimously.
Article 6. Moderator Carvey read the following article: “To see if the voters of the Town of Pittsford will authorize to be raised by taxation the sum of $1,500.00 (One Thousand Five Hundred Dollars and no/100ths Dollars) to be used by Child First Advocacy.
Moderator Carvey introduced Wendy Loomis, who is not a Pittsford resident, and asked for objections to allow Ms. Loomis to speak. There were no objections.
Ms. Loomis explained the Child First Advocacy as a non-profit organization that supports and assists in child abuse cases and witness abuse cases. The organization is assisted by dedicated police officers for doing investigations.
Bud Provin inquired if the organization was new. Ms. Loomis stated that the organization is new and in 2014 investigated 199 cases and in 2015 investigated 195 cases, of which 15 were in Pittsford.
Jamie Stewart stated that this organization is a United Way organization and is doing positive work in the community.
Motion by Ken Gagnon and seconded by Denise Mahoney to approve the article as stated.
Sue Markowski inquired if the organization was a DCF affiliation. Ms. Loomis stated that they are housed with DCF.
Point of order by Denise Mahoney and seconded by Ken Gagnon.
Article passed unanimously.
Article 7. Moderator Carvey read the following article: “To see if the voters of the Town of Pittsford will authorize the continued existence of a full-time police officer position once the Town completes funding the position for the fourth and final year of a four-year Federal COPS grant program. [The Town’s obligation to fund the final year of this position lapses in December, 2016 and the current General Fund budget proposal includes funding of wages and benefits for this position only through that December, 2016 date. Therefore a “yes” vote would mean that an additional $37,000 would be added to the General Fund budget.”
Motion to approve the article by David Soulia and seconded by Chuck Charbonneau.
Bud Provin stated that he has no personal grudge toward the local police department, however, he asked why spend the money when the town could have the State Police or Sheriff’s Department cover the town.
Laurie Pelkey stated that the Pittsford Police Department responded in minutes when her vehicle was broken into. Ms. Pelkey stated that the State Police or the Sheriff’s Department would cost money to contract the services.
Tom Hooker spoke as Fire Chief and stated that the current police department is the best there is and that the State Police respond to accidents on Route 7 in 35 – 40 minutes, whereas Pittsford responds within minutes.
Cathy Rider stated that she is proud of the current police department, however, the cost was a concern. Chairman Pelkey explained the cost included in the 2017 budget covers both wages and benefits.
Chuck Charbonneau stated that the police department protects individuals who must report to work in the very early hours of the morning and ensures their safety as they open their respective businesses and the Vermont State Police or Sheriff’s Department would not be able to provide this protection.
Peter Cady moved to close debate, which was seconded by Denise Mahoney.
Ken Gagnon stated that to add $37,000 would result in $164,500 for the current budget year.
Jamie Stewart inquired the full time employee status. Chairman Pelkey stated that currently, Pittsford Police Department provides 100 hours of protection and if the article fails, the protection would decrease to 50 hours per week.
Moderator Carvey re-read the article. The article passed with few nay votes.
Article 8. Moderator Carvey read the following article: “To transact such other non-binding business as legally may come before said meeting at this time.”
David Soulia reported that the Planning Commission is wrapping up the Zoning Regulations and will be forwarded to legal review before hosting Public Hearings. The Town Plan will be presented following the finalization of the Zoning Regulations. Residents are encouraged to provide feedback to the Planning Commission.
Tina Spotts spoke on Brandon Cares, which is a support group for opiate addictions. Pittsford residents are invited to attend the discussions at any time. Ms. Spotts can be contacted for information.
At the close of the above business, the meeting shall be recessed until Tuesday, March 1, 2015 at 7:00 a.m. at the Town Offices, located at 426 Plains Road, Pittsford to vote by Australian ballot on the following matters, to wit:
Article 9. Moderator Carvey read the following article “To elect the following officers of the Town:
a. A Town Moderator for the term of one (1) year
b. A Selectman for a term of three (3) years
c. A Selectman for a term of two (2) years
d. A Lister for a term of three (3) years
e. A Town Agent for a term of one (1) year
f. A Grand Juror for a term of one (1) year
g. A Trustee of Public Funds for a term of three (3) years
h. One MacLure Library Trustees for terms of one (1) year
Polls will be open Tuesday March 1, 2016 from 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM.
Motion by Dave Trombley and seconded by Bonnie Stewart to adjourn at 9:09 PM.
Respectfully submitted: Attest:
Kelly Giard, Recording Secretary Helen E. McKinlay, Town Clerk
James Carvey, Moderator
Ernest Clerihew, Board of Civil